I love the framing stage because there’s so much visible progress in a short time! It’s really starting to look like a house, and we can get a sense of where all the rooms will be. We are building a raised bungalow in the country, and acting as our own general contractors. We bought 30 acres of land south of Ottawa because it had always been a dream of ours to build our own house. Last week we had the floor joists installed, so this week we were able to get to the framing.


The first wall that went up was in the living room.

framing a raised bungalow in Ontario

Carl Moran, our civil contractor, also came back this week to backfill around the house and fill in the front step and the garage. The backfill makes the house feel less tall and somewhat helps me with my fear of heights. It’s somewhat irrational, but I can’t stand too close to the edge of the house without panicking.

framing the first floor of a raised bungalow

This is the wall on the west side of the house, with the main bathroom and the master bedroom. Our contractors, Steve and Matt, built the stud walls, then lifted them upright and braced them.

framing the first floor of a raised bungalow

And this is how far they got with the framing last week!  There are still a few walls to finish along the front of the garage and around the front lobby.

House framing by owner builders in Ontario


No let’s take a tour of the inside of the house. This will be the living room. We decided to go with 6 foot windows at the back of the house so we can have a nice view of all the trees.

Framing a house

At the front of the house will be two bedrooms for the kids. We will put two kids in each of the bedrooms for now, but will eventually finish more bedrooms in the basement. A few of the kids will move to the basement bedrooms when they are a little older.

Framing a house

In the back corner is the master bedroom with walk-in closet and an ensuite. And in the middle of the house will be the kitchen and dining room.

Last week I thought pretty much non-stop about where to place the windows for the two bathrooms. It may not seem like a big deal, but the window placement in the main bath depended on where we wanted the toilet, if we were okay with a window in the shower, what size bathtub we wanted, whether we would center the bathtub in the wall, and on and on. We also ended up swapping the locations for the ensuite and the walk-in closet because we didn’t want plumbing on an exterior wall, and did we really want to see into the bathroom from our bed? Then we needed to figure out exactly where the toilet would go so that the window would be centered above the toilet. We were warned over and over about all the decisions that need to be made and how stressful that can be. I felt that a bit last week, but I am also trying not to second guess all our decisions once they are made. If the windows are not perfectly centered, we will be fine, I just have to let it go.

House framing

Next up on the tour is the basement. Under the living room will be the utility room where we will put the furnace, water softener, water heater, and sump pit. We are going to install a combination wood/propane furnace, and we plan on chucking firewood in through the window and also having an area in this room to stack and store the wood.

Basement knee wall framing

We will eventually finish two basement bedrooms at the front of the house where those two nice big windows will be. And we will also put a bathroom in the basement to the right of where the jack post is. The location of the basement bathroom has to be decided soon, because when we get our plumber in he will do the rough-in for the basement bathroom.

House framing by an owner builder in Ontario

And at the back of the basement will be the family room/tv area/toy room. Someday.

House framing by an owner builder in Ontario

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